Student, teacher to learn about history where it took place

Published 10:06 pm Thursday, January 25, 2018

D-Day, June 6, 1944, will be revisited by Troup High School Junior Evelyn Johnson and history teacher Clinton DeMooney. The two are participating in an Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom Albert H. Small Student & Teacher Institute, an extensive research project, coordinated by National History Day.

Johnson and DeMooney are one of 15 student-teacher teams. Johnson said she was excited to be chosen out of the more than 200 applications.

“I was not expecting it, I mean that was crazy,” Johnson said. “I answered the phone. [DeMooney] was all like ‘alright you need to maybe sit down,’ and I yelled on the phone. I thought I might have popped his eardrums it was so loud. It’s absolutely incredible.”

Johnson and DeMooney are taking weekly classes on World War II and will be given a veteran from the war to research and study.

“It’s definitely a lot of work,” Johnson said.

Part of the project includes traveling to Normandy, France and Washington D.C. According to the National History Day, they will be traveling from June 16 to June 28 this year.

DeMooney said the final project will include a web page identifying a fallen soldier and giving a eulogy at their gravesite at the Normandy American Cemetery.

“She’s doing it all on her own time,” DeMooney said. “I’m really there just as support and guidance, but she’ll be completing all the tasks herself. This is a really student driven, student led activity, and I’m just here to help her along the way with her research and finding of things.”

Johnson said she has participated in National History Day, a nonprofit organization, since she was a freshman. She said she loves studying history and politics.

“I love research,” Johnson said. “I love to dig through things, definitely being there and walk where my soldier walked and walk in the footsteps of what they did on that day, that’s really important to me.”

DeMooney said he also can’t wait for the journey.

“To go on the experience, actually to be there and see what we’re studying right now, we’re going to see what we’re studying, it’s going to be remarkable,” he said.